Mary Hunter Austin was born on September 9, 1868, at 511 East First South Street, in a house which is now the rear ell of the elegant Italianate two-story home. She spent the first 20 years of her life in Carlinville, graduating from Blackburn College in 1888 and then moving with her family to the Bakersfield, California, area where she became enamored of the nature and native people. Her first book, The Land of Little Rain, was published in 1903, and Ansel Adams re-published the book in 1950 and included 48 photographic plates illustrating areas pertaining to the collection of essays. Other books by Austin include Isidro, The Flock, The Basket Woman, The Man Jesus and Starry Adventure. In her autobiography, Earth Horizon, Austin devotes one-half of the book to her experiences growing up in Carlinville during the 1870's and 1880's. Mary Austin died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1934.